Today's News - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

After only 13 months on the job, Ronald M. Park Jr. has resigned as chief executive officer of Somerset hospital. No reason has been given for the departure, but board members plan to meet this afternoon.

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In Johnstown’s federal court yesterday, the judge ruled that 18-year-old Penn State Altoona student Vladislav Miftakhov should be eligible for bail, but he did not set an amount, and the prosecution plans to appeal. The Russian native was arrested last month when police found explosive devices and bomb making materials inside his Juniata apartment. Miftakhov claims he was just going to blow them up in a field and didn’t plan to hurt anyone. The case was held over for trial at yesterday’s preliminary hearing.

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Four people remain hospitalized in stable condition after Sunday’s tour bus crash near Centerville, Bedford County. More than 30 people were traveling from Altoona to Rocky Gap Casino in Maryland when the bus ran off a snow-covered Route 220. Officials say speed was a factor and one of those hospitalized is the driver, 65-year-old Terrence Shultz.

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Two fires in our area yesterday. Fire companies from across Somerset County were called to a blaze at a private home at Hidden Valley Resort Monday afternoon around 3:00. There were no injuries. Firefighters were still on the scene cleaning up until late into the evening. The blaze postponed a Special Olympics skiing event that was being held at Hidden Valley. And last night, Cambria County firefighters battled a fire at a home on Main Street in Vintondale starting around 9:15. No injuries were reported. No other details have been released.

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Governor Tom Corbett is trying to scale down pension benefits for public employees. Budget secretary, Charles Zogby, announced yesterday that the administration is looking at a "hybrid" concept that would allow state and public school employees to receive a traditional pension benefit up to a maximum $50,000 salary. Salaries exceeding that would receive a four percent contribution. Zogby says the plan would save $7 billion dollars over 30 years.

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Washington is trying to get approval to target an American al-Qaeda member using a drone strike. Laws passed last year prohibit the U.S. from ordering the killing of its citizens. The White House, Pentagon and Justice Department are said to be building a case against the man, who is believed to be responsible for deadly attacks against other Americans overseas.

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One person is dead and another is injured after a package exploded at a central Tennessee home. Authorities say the package was delivered to a home in Lebanon, which is about 40 miles east of Nashville. Federal and state investigators were called to the scene yesterday to secure the area and make sure there were no more explosive devices.

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Janet Yellen makes her first official appearance before Congress today as chief of the Federal Reserve. Yellen is set to testify about the U.S. economy in a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee. She may offer a hint as to how long the Fed plans to continue stimulus measures.

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The defense is expected to wrap up its case today in the trial of a Florida man accused of killing a teen in a dispute over loud music. Michael Dunn claims the shooting was an act of self-defense but prosecutors say Jordan Davis was unarmed during their confrontation outside a gas station in 2012.

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The Obama administration is again delaying the health insurance mandate for certain employers. The Treasury Department announced Monday that businesses with 50 to 99 employees will not be required to offer health insurance until 2016. Under pressure from businesses, this is the second time the administration has delayed the mandate for mid-sized companies.

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Nevada is dropping its defense of a ban on gay marriages. The state's attorney general says the decision was made because the legal landscape has changed and arguments in support of a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages were no longer sustainable.

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Most people don't think coming out will hurt college football star Michael Sam's chances of going pro. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents in an ESPN SportsNation poll believe the NFL is "ready for an openly gay player." Only eight-percent think other players will respond "mostly negatively" to Sam if he joins the NFL.

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People in much of the Deep South are bracing for the latest winter storm that's moving in today. Widespread snow and ice are forecast for Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama.

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In New Jersey, more than a dozen new subpoenas are being issued as an investigation continues into the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal. State lawmakers are sending 18 subpoenas to officials in Governor Chris Christie's office and executives at the Port Authority.

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A North Carolina hospital is notifying 18 patients they may have been exposed to the incurable neurological disorder known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob. All those patients underwent neurosurgery at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem in the last three weeks.

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Police in Iraq say a suicide bomb instructor didn't know the belt he was demonstrating with was packed with explosives. The bomb went off Monday killing the trainer and 21 other members of the Sunni militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Officials say at least 15 were wounded in the blast and another eight militants were arrested while trying to escape.

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All eyes will be on American snowboarder Shaun White later today as he competes in the men's halfpipe. White is the two-time reigning Olympic champion in this event, having won gold in 2006 in Turin and again at the Vancouver Games in 2010.

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Pennsylvania beer lovers are celebrating the arrival of Yuengling ice cream. The creamy confection hit stores yesterday with flavors like espresso chocolate chip, black and tan, vanilla fudge chunk with pretzels and root beer float. Officials say the ice cream isn't affiliated with the Yuengling brewery but is owned by the same family. It is currently only being sold in six states including Pennsylvania.

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James Dean's estate is suing the fan behind a Twitter account dedicated to the late actor. The iconic actor's heirs consider his name and likeness valuable commodities and want the anonymous fan's Twitter handle @JamesDean turned over to them. The fan claims he set up the Twitter account in 2009 to share his admiration for the actor, who died in a 1955 car crash at just 24 years old.

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A new study has found that deception, when it comes to money, can put pressure on an otherwise happy relationship. Conducted by the National Endowment for Financial Education, the poll found that one-third of the respondents admitted to having lied to their partner about their personal or joint finances. Thirty-five percent reported having been lied to by a loved one in the past. Almost half said lies about money have been the cause of arguments, and 33 percent said that the financial infidelity has led to a lack of trust in the relationship overall. Ten percent said it had resulted in divorce for them.

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